Thursday, November 21, 2013

End of the Rode

I pulled the anchor rode out of the locker last week to clean off all the mud that was caked on a few sections, and after I put it all back in I realized that I did not have a line securing the bitter end. The end of the chain was secured to the wood separator in the locker by a shackle. So what? Well, if you read about our experience in the Delaware river last year and the Barge/Tug that was dragging down on us at night, you will see I told Deb to get ready for me to cut the anchor if he keeps coming. He was already over our anchor and getting scary close at that point. Well, I would have needed a blow torch to cut it loose as I never had a line securing it! I could have sworn I secured it that way. Holy crap! That could have ended badly. Imagine me scrambling for a pair of pliers to remove the shackle. I get the chills thinking about it.

Wimpy line I know, but it's anchored to plywood
so what's the weakest point?  

So, now I have a small line securing the end of the rode. If it gets to the point where I have to cut and run, I can do it. I also have a small orange fender that I can clip to the last link so I can retrieve it later. When we sail I always carry a sharp knife in my pocket for this reason, and to fight off Pirates. Maybe pepper spray would be a better option then hand to hand combat...that and a laser. A laser would be cool. "Your shirts on Fire!" *

While I had all the chain out again, I decided that having fifty foot marks with yellow spray paint wasn't enough, so I tagged the chain with bright orange zip ties at seventy five foot lengths. This is simple for my simple mind. I don't need a color chart hanging on the bow pulpit to tell me how much rode I have out.

I added a "Running out of chain!" indicator with four zip ties in a row. I would have liked red paint, but I didn't have any. This will work fine.

Yes, that's a cheap ass manual winch. I love it.
Builds muscle...and sweat. Lot's of sweat.


* Here is the link for building a laser defense system.  I was the laser geek for our plant at GM. I only started one fire, and it was a total accident. I was test firing a laser and downloaded what I thought was a simple spot mark. Turned out I loaded a wire frame model of the space shuttle. I was firing it at a piece of cardboard to protect the production part. Holy smokes! I put it out with a unique stomping routine which later lead to rain.


  1. I've never given a thought to the end of my anchor chain. Will definitely be checking it out before we splash in the spring. Still going to pass on the blender advice though.

    1. Hahaha Yes, buy prepared pesto.

      Our surveyor gave me a ton of crap for having a line secured to the bitter end. I suppose I should get some decent line and chain splice it. He didn't understand the need to cut and run. I guess he never stared at 300 ft of floating steel slowly inching towards him at night.

  2. Sounds about right for many of the surveyors I've experienced. 10 or 15 turns of 1/8th " line between a fixed point on the boat and the end of chain will probably pull the fitting out before breaking, but that's not the point, it's just there to stop the end of the chain running out. I'm with you on the manual windlass, we upgraded to electric it was a big mistake.